Leadership Academy Headed to Japan For 30th Anniversary

FORT WORTH, TX – Since 1989, the International Leadership Academy has brought young people from Fort Worth’s nine sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, Fort Worth Sister Cities is taking the Academy to Nagaoka, Japan as we celebrate this dynamic summer leadership program’s 30th anniversary.

A select number of students from Fort Worth were selected to participate in an Advanced Leadership Academy with other students from eSwatini, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and Japan. This year’s theme, Peace through Innovation, will encourage students to explore and focus on critical and current issues. Through the program they will gain essential leadership and communication skills through cross-cultural activities such as art, music, and language studies.

Participants will live stay with host families in Nagaoka. During the day, they will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will also include visits to area businesses, museums, and other cultural venues, as well as a community service project.

“The students will be challenged to improve and refine their leadership skills and learn how diverse cultures can support common goals. It’s a tremendous opportunity for personal growth,” said Nancy Marchant, Leadership Academy Coordinator.

The Fort Worth students depart on Aug. 1 and will spend a few days in Tokyo for orientation. Then, on Aug. 5 everyone will convene in Nagaoka for several days of team-building and problem-solving using diplomacy. The students return to Fort Worth on Aug. 11.

Fort Worth Wins Innovation Award for Business and Trade

HOUSTON, TX – Fort Worth, Texas has won the Sister Cities International 2019 Innovation Award for Business and Trade for a city with a population greater than 100,000. The awards competition, which is open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.

In the fall of 2018, Fort Worth Sister Cities International and Wild Acre Brewing Co. collaborated with the city of Trier, Germany to introduce the first-ever collaborative beer at the 5th annual Oktoberfest in Fort Worth. The brew master from German-based Kraft Bräu brewery in Trier attended and tapped the keg of the collaborative beer called Wild Acre Kraft Haus Lager. Similarly, Fort Worth companies Best Maid Pickles and Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. both found a natural partner in Nagaoka, Japan. Both companies brought samples of their products to Japan and a tasting was arranged with members of Nagaoka’s Chamber of Commerce small business group.

“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, Sister Cities International’s President & CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”

Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; business and trade; humanitarian assistance; youth and education; and professional and technical exchange categories. All award winners were honored during Sister Cities International’s 2019 Annual Conference from July 17-19 in Houston, Texas.

Sister Cities and Oktoberfest Fort Worth Introduce “Bier” Collaboration

New initiative hopes to launch more commerce between Trier, Germany and Fort Worth

Fort Worth Sister Cities International, Wild Acre Brewing Co. and sister city Trier, Germany are partnering to introduce the first-ever collaborative “bier” at the Fort Wurst Corporate Night, on September 26 at The Shack on Panther Island. This new festival preview will kick off the fifth annual Oktoberfest Fort Worth. The brewmaster from Trier-based Kraft Bräu brewery will be part of the team to tap the keg of the collaborative beer called Wild Acre Kraft Haus Lager.

The project is an effort to encourage and grow business exchange opportunities between Trier and Fort Worth. With the craft beer industry growing in both regions, Christian Luxem, director of Trier City Council’s Business Development came up with the idea of the “Bier project” a craft beer collaboration that could provide an opportunity for international idea and product exchange.

“Such a project can contribute to promote the bilateral economical relations between the two cities,” says Luxem.

The recipe for Wild Acre Kraft Haus was developed by Kraft Bräu brewery and brewed by Wild Acre in Fort Worth. The two brewmasters stayed in constant contact to ensure the beer was brewed in Fort Worth, but stayed true to the German taste and standards. The beer is 5.3 % ABV and combines traditional German lager brewing techniques, and some American hop varietals to blend the two cultures in the form of a hoppy lager.

“The partnership between Wild Acre and Kraft Bräu is another wonderful cultural exchange between our two cities,” said Mayor Betsy Price, City of Fort Worth. “The beer collaboration is an opportunity to learn from each other, promote global economic development, and build a platform for businesses to think globally. That’s what it’s all about – creating connections and expanding Fort Worth’s international profile.”

Wild Acre Brewing has been invited to participate in the same type of beer collaboration at the 2019 Trier craft beer festival. Organizers hope this will serve as a starting point for more business collaboration between Trier and Fort Worth.

Wild Acre Kraft Haus will be the featured beer in the Tapping of the Kegs ceremony kicking off Fort Wurst, Oktoberfest Fort Worth’s new Corporate Night on September 26. Attendees of the event will have the chance to try the beer exclusively available that evening. Corporations or individuals can purchase a table of eight for a private evening of culture and celebration, complete with a plated German meal from Reata Haus, entertainment, beer and more! To learn more about purchasing a Fort Wurst table, visit www.OktoberfestFW.com.

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About Oktoberfest Fort Worth: Oktoberfest Fort Worth will take place September 27 – 29 at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth. Festival patrons will enjoy authentic German food, music, dancing, games, rides, biergartens, dachshund races & shopping as well as Spaten and other fall and Oktoberfest craft beers. Fort Wurst is a new corporate night kicking off the festival on September 26. Both events are produced by the Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA) responsible for the implementation of a public infrastructure project which fosters the development of an urban waterfront neighborhood in Fort Worth called Panther Island. TRVA aims to attract business and entertainment to the district and is in charge of programming public spaces including Panther Island Pavilion.

About Fort Worth Sister Cities International: Fort Worth Sister Cities International, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the only organization dedicated solely to promoting Fort Worth globally and enriching our community through international education, exchange and commerce. We provide a world of opportunities for our city leaders, citizens, educators, students and businesses alike. Founded in 1985, Fort Worth has eight sister city relationships, and intends to form our ninth in 2019. The relationship with Trier, Germany was formed in 1987 and celebrated our 40th anniversary last year.

About Kraft Bräu: Kraft Bräu was founded in 1998 as the first microbrewery in Trier, five years after the closure of the last brewery in town. Patrick Weirich, the first brewer, started with the three Kraft Bräu classics: lager, dark and wheat beer, focusing on pure handmade craft brewing. In 2010 the Kraft Bräu team started to brew beside the classics seasonal specials like an IPA, different pale ales and bocks. It was CEO Klaus Tonkaboni and Sebastian Nguyen, head brewer and licensed beer sommelier, who started the new and exciting era. In October 2014, Kraft Bräu organized Trier’s first craft beer festival which was a huge success. Kraft Bräu has passion for beer and an addiction to real craft brewing.

About Wild Acre Brewing Co.: Wild Acre Brewing Co. opened its doors in June of 2016 to brew and sell the highest quality craft beers available throughout North Texas. Wild Acre has become known for a number of its beers including Billy Jenkins Bock, Texas Blonde and T-Hawk IPA. These beers, among other flavors, can be found in bars, restaurants and retail outlets throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, in addition to being served at their brewery/taproom and beer garden entertainment facility located in the former Ranch Style Beans building situated between East Lancaster and East Vickery on the southeast edge of Downtown Fort Worth. Beer lovers of Fort Worth have helped Wild Acre grow into one of the top 30 largest craft breweries in Texas after two short years in business.

Students Bring Home Gold and Bronze Medals From Italy

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities youth athletes represent Fort Worth and the USA!

Nearly 80 student athletes and coaches just returned from a week of competition at the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Reggio Emilia, Italy winning three gold and one bronze medal in baseball and volleyball.

The athletes and coaches will be recognized at the Fort Worth City Council meeting Aug. 14 at 7:00 pm to report on the games and display the medals they won.

The Sports Ambassadors competed and lived in an Olympic-style village with student athletes from thirty other countries representing Fort Worth and the USA through positive sportsmanship and goodwill. The games created a chance for these athletes to convey a positive impression of American youth to other people from around the world.

“The programs sponsored by Sister Cities have a broad appeal offering international experiences you can’t get as casual tourists,” said Sister Cities Sports Games Chair Michael Jacobsson. “The student athletes will remember this trip for the rest of their lives.”

The Tricolore Games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy and Fort Worth is the only city in the US invited to participate.

Youth Ambassadors Represent Fort Worth in Japan

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities provides unique opportunity for students

Since 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka, Japan has funded scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to travel there for an educational and cultural enrichment experience. In return, the families of these Fort Worth students host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes.

This program and all the scholarships have been funded by the Hara family and Harashin Co. Ltd. of Nagaoka. For 27 years, it is estimated that over $2 million has been generously donated benefiting Fort Worth families.

Fort Worth Harashin scholars include Rebecca Cichock, Samantha Cruz, William Dibble, Priscilla Gutierrez, Imani Kayembe, Katey Parham, Emily Pruitt, and Brigit Teschendorf; and will be led by Delegation Leaders Dawnelle Butler and Nicole Vallee.

“Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities and this unique opportunity for students is no exception,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. The students depart July 27 for a week-long exchange and the Japanese students will be in Fort Worth August 9-17.

All student applicants (9th-11th grades) participate in a vigorous selection process including teacher recommendations, essays and personal interviews. The Harashin Scholars are required to attend monthly cultural orientations to further enrich their international experience and prepare them for the exchange.

Exchanges with each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend 9-15 days with an international host family and experience their history, culture and customs. These students become citizen diplomats through this program. It gives them a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer.

International Students Attend Leadership Academies

Fort Worth, TX: Meet the World in Fort Worth, Theme of Academies

High school students from around the world will descend on Fort Worth starting July 12. Students from eSwatini, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Mexico, along with Fort Worth students, will be in Fort Worth for the 29th International Leadership Academy (ILA). The Academy’s goal is to increase communication and leadership skills through teambuilding and problem-solving using diplomacy.

Since 1989, the ILA has brought young people from Fort Worth’s eight sister cities to the area to discuss pressing global issues. This year, nearly 90 participants will converge at Texas Christian University (TCU) July 12 – 26 to share their cultures and learn about citizen diplomacy and its importance.

Participants will live on the TCU campus and share a room with students from another country. They will attend classes that are designed to challenge stereotypes, highlight cultures, promote diplomatic dialogue, develop leadership skills, and solve global problems. Activities will also include visits to area businesses, museums, and other cultural venues specific to Fort Worth, as well as a community service project.

This year marks the 14th year of ILA’s middle school program, the Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA) held July 9 – 13. College students from Toluca, Mexico will serve as facilitators for Fort Worth students who will discuss the same issues as their high school counterparts, gaining international perspectives.

“The students will be challenged to improve and refine their leadership skills and learn how diverse cultures can support common goals. It’s a tremendous opportunity for personal growth,” said Nancy Marchant, ILA and JILA Coordinator.

The closing ceremony for ILA will take place July 25, 6:30 p.m. at TCU’s BLUU Ballroom and is free and open to the public. For more info call 817/632-7100.

Fort Worth Representing USA at Italian Sports Games

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities fields youth sports teams

Fort Worth is sending nearly 100 student athletes and coaches to the sixth edition of the Tricolore Youth Sports Games in Italy next week July 5 – 14, 2018.

The games create an opportunity for young people to convey a positive impression of American youth to over 3,000 athletes from around the world who will be participating in the event.

“Living with and competing against these young athletes, our students will undoubtedly learn that they have much more in common with them than what separates them,” said Michael Jacobsson, Fort Worth Tricolore Chair. “These are the types of experiences that help kids shape their understanding and acceptance of people from other cultures and it’s a lot of fun, too!”

The athletes and coaches will compete and live in an Olympic-style village with student athletes from other countries, as well as represent Fort Worth and the U.S.A. through positive sportsmanship and goodwill.

“The Games offer an international experience these kids will remember the rest of their lives. Bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals will be a highlight of their athletic careers,” said Matt Graves, Tricolore Vice Chair.

The Tricolore Games are held every four years in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Fort Worth’s sister city for thirty-three years, and Fort Worth will be the sole representative of the U.S.A. Teams participating are girls volleyball, swimming, and four boys baseball teams.

Youth Represent Fort Worth in France, Japan, Swaziland

FORT WORTH, TX – Youth Ambassadors travel to three sister cities

Forty-six students and leaders are visiting three of Fort Worth’s sister cities this month including Nîmes, France; Nagaoka, Japan; and Mbabane, Swaziland.

These Youth Ambassadors of Fort Worth benefit from a global education. In addition to learning leadership skills and participating in cultural exchange, they also receive training to become citizen diplomats representing the U.S., Texas, and Fort Worth which enhances their college and career opportunities.

“Today’s growing global community is making more of a footprint in young people’s lives, making cultural understanding and exchange a pivotal part of a student’s education. Our student-centered program ensures students develop the skills necessary for them to pursue their own goals and become globally-minded leaders in their communities,” said Johnny Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities.

Educators from the FWISD, private schools, and universities will lead the delegations including:

Nîmes, France: Jay Kurima, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Marvin Vann Griffith, World Languages Institute, as well as Associate Delegation Leaders Stephanie Atkinson and Michelle Chuah

Nagaoka, Japan: James Gleaton, Tarrant County College and Courtney Smith, Como Montessori, as well as Associate Delegation Leaders Sienna Andrade, University of Texas at Arlington and Rubi Roy, Tarrant County College

Mbabane, Swaziland: Kimberly Tezak-Daus, Diamond Hill-Jarvis, as well as Associate Delegation Leaders Madeline Hale, University of Texas at Dallas and Jailine Garcia, Tarrant County College

Sister Cities on Diplomatic Mission to Russia

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Russia to find connections

Fourteen delegates are currently visiting Russia May 27-June 8 on a twelve-day diplomatic mission to Russia to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation consists of representatives from business, education, and finance sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Moscow, Kolomna, St. Petersburg and Maryino.

Special meetings are set with Consul General Tom Leary from the St. Petersburg Consulate and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Delegates plan to discuss current issues in Russia and how US and Russian citizens can connect on a diplomatic level.

“We are exploring a new part of the world and learning about Russia,” said Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus of Fort Worth Sister Cities International (FWSCI). “Pursuing new relationships like these is needed now more than ever. There is tremendous potential to grow a global movement of citizens committed to deepening ties in the face of forces pulling us apart.”

The delegation will be led by Michael Hyatt, Director Emeritus; Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities International (SCI); and Mae Ferguson, President/CEO. Other delegates include FWSCI board members Rae Hyatt, Ronda and Walter Stucker, and Melissa Thompson; SCI board members Mimi Barker and Carol Robertson Lopez; as well as Allen and Teresa Dunaway, Barbara and Rick Walker, and Jon Wilcox.

Other missions to connect Fort Worth internationally are planned this year to Hungary and France. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or danielle@fwsistercities.org.

Nîmes, France to be Fort Worth’s Ninth Sister City

Fort Worth, TX – City Council votes unanimously to accept French invitation

After a two-year search and selection process, Fort Worth will add its ninth sister city, Nîmes, France. The last sister city added was Guiyang, China signed in 2011.

A resolution to accept the invitation from Nîmes Mayor Jean-Paul Fournier to partner was unanimously, “and with enthusiasm” as stated by Mayor Betsy Price, approved by the City Council on behalf of the citizens of Fort Worth at last night’s Council meeting,

Sister Cities recommended Nîmes as a partner to build a mutually beneficial relationship through international education, exchange and commerce.

“Our goal is to promote Fort Worth globally and enrich our local community. We find that important now more than ever,” said Johnny Campbell, board chairman and President of Sundance Square.

“The two cities are well suited for each other because Nîmes, like Fort Worth, is experiencing significant demographic and financial growth,” said Pat Miller, Chair of the Long Range Planning committee of Sister Cities and leader of the delegation that traveled to France last year to research the possibility of partnering.

A delegation, led by Nîmes Mayor Fournier, several Deputy Mayors and the Presidents of the Chamber of Commerce and University of Nîmes, visited Fort Worth in January to discuss programs that would be of interest to both cities.

An official signing trip to France will be planned for this fall or Spring 2019. Anyone interested in learning more about Nîmes or joining the delegation to Nîmes can visit www.fwsistercities.org or contact danielle@fwsistercities.org.